Last Friday – armed with ‘buddy passes” from our airline friends, a small bag and our mobile office (a backpack) – we showed up at the airport and decided to go to, um, anywhere. Every traveler’s fantasy.
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We’re back from Vegas, resuming a slower paced, blur-free life.
Here it is, the end of January, and we’re feeling way behind in our efforts to get our travel mapped out for 2012. We’re just starting to make progress brainstorming the outline of possible itineraries. One thing looks fairly certain. No Europe.
…we struggle with the whole idea of off the beaten path travel. Isn’t there the opportunity for something “new” where ever you are? Can’t something seemingly ordinary end up being momentous? Any experience – travel related or otherwise – is what you make it. That’s the conclusion we came to at least.
For Canada’s Adventure Couple, Dave and Deb, travel is their full-time gig. As most of us would say, “they’re living the dream.” Which is true, they really are. The couple, who both used to work in the film industry, became inspired by travel during their trip to Thailand back in 2000. From then on, travel defined them more than their careers, and they searched for ways to turn their passion into a lifestyle. Since their first trip to Thailand, they have climbed, paddled, hiked and biked their way through 5 continents doing everything from cycling across Africa, to driving across Mongolia. Not to mention, their adventure travel blog is on top of the charts, and I can truly say the couple inspire me each and every day.
While exploring India for three months on my own, I made a last minute decision to take a trip to McLeod Ganj where I spent a couple of weeks studying Buddhism and Tibetan history. The first week of my stay in Mcleod Ganj was spent at the Tushita Meditation Centre for the study and practice of Buddhism from the Tibetan Mahayana tradition.
Once upon a time, on a place called earth, lies a Western European sanctuary bordered by the Mediteranian, Aegean and Ionian Seas. This is a magical land full of adventure and beauty and can be easy on your wallet if you are careful. The natives that inhimbate this land may refer to it as Hellas, Ellada or Hellenic Republic, but I just call this place Greece.
Scientists have suggested that, with a little willpower, it takes roughly 30 days for a person to form a new habit. This really interested me, since I love trying new things, and I love challenges. I also believe it is very important to constantly develop your person. So, this is why I have chosen to take on 12 different challenges this year. Each month, I will commit to a new challenge which I will do for 30 days straight. Each week I will post my progress.
This year has been one of the best years of my life. Why? It’s because I spent half of it traveling the world. This year, I went through a transformation that I could have never anticipated. Although I have done a lot of world exploration in the years previous, 2011 and some of 2010 was the longest I have hopscotched the globe and expanded my mind on an entire new level.
The internet is a crazy place and if you aren’t careful, you can definetly get lost in cyber space. It takes time to find websites that you can rely on to give you the best travel advice. However, when it comes to finding a great hostel/guesthouse online, I know I can rely on….
Budget backpacking isn’t just about South East Asia or South America. Those looking a little closer to home can get their culture fix and pit their wits in some challenging environments, while also enjoying some of the most stunning scenery anywhere in the world. Central Europe has been a favourite amongst backpackers for a number of years due to good value accommodation, cheap cost of living and some very diverse cultures.
Looking back at some of the travel deals we got in 2011, there were some big standouts – like the remote cabin we scored in Alaska for about $50 a night.
Below, we’re highlighing five deals (okay, 3 deals and 2 trends) that really rocked our world. We want to see more things like this in 2012.
Ibiza may be the most well known party island in the world, but there is so much more to offer from the Golden Isle than hedonistic all night parties. Making a trip to the Balearic Island outside the clubbing season is an experience not to be missed. It’ll be much cheaper too.
The other morning I took a bus to get to the subway station so that I could get to the gym. It was a fairly early rise for me as I tend to often sleep in. As I walked out my door, the bus literally pulled up right in front of me – I love it when that happens. I walked onto the very crowded bus to see almost every single person on their crackberries or iphones. Seriously, who are you texting in the early morning?
Good thing we got all rested up and contemplative on our crawl through the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic. Turns out we needed that huge reserve of physical and mental energy for what was to come next.
Did we ever tell you that we are planning to bus all the way down to the southern most tip of Argentina? I have seen some of the most amazing sights just starting out the window. As we headed out of Medellin to Bogota, I saw the most stunning landscapes I had seen in quite a while. They literally took my breath away.
I felt like I was going to puke. My travel nerves were at full force that day – something I hadn’t really experienced since Mexico. I was a pro at this. Why was I feeling so shitty? “You’re already missing them.” Shaun’s replied. And you know what? He was right. Our travels have taken a completely different direction.
Now that we’ve been to Italy – and had us a lot of gelato in the country – we really get the obsession that gelato devotees have with the stuff.
During this travel adventure, we’ve had a few days that are a pretty accurate representation on what life is often like for us on the road. Balancing working and exploring can be frustrating at times. And, because we’re away from home-base so much, we try hard to keep fitness and some awareness of nutrition an active part of the mix (or this would be a weight loss blog).
We loved Bologna the minute we arrived. By the time we made our way to our hotel – we even splurged and got a cab – it was well into the evening and dark.
Having arrived in italy and ready to start our “pick a random city” experiment, we had only one thing on our minds.
During my week in Jordan, I saw Roman ruins in Amman, the world wonders of Petra and the Dead Sea and the desert/canyons of Wadi Rum. Anything else you think should be on the list of must-see sights in Jordan?
Dear Older (hopefully healthy!) Selves:
Remember all of the talking you used to do about getting to the Cinque Terre one day? Well, this letter is about what happened back in 2011 when you were hoping to make it there, but it didn’t work out.
You’ve probably forgotten a lot over the last few decades, so let us refresh your memories…
Last night I cried. I cried tears of happiness as the first baby of the family was born. I cried because I couldn’t be there physically to hold her in my arms. There is one thing that I am ever so grateful for – today’s technology. We are connected at a level that has never been seen before in history.
Contrary to popular belief, there are no jaguars in the Jaguar Rescue Center. Long story to be honest – but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the time to hit this place up. It was a gloomy, rainy day – something we had gotten used to over the past 3-4 months had gotten used to over the past 3-4 months following rainy season south.
Our latest adventure begins.
Notes from our first few days in London…
There are different ways to travel for an extended period of time. You can save up money for a while and then quit your job like I did, travel and work various jobs along the way, or find a more permanent job that involves traveling. For Nadine Sykora, traveling and sharing her experiences through Youtube videos is her job.
When I think back to the summer I spent in Ghana, the first memory that comes to mind is of the night I spent at Big Milly’s Backyard in the small fishing village of Kokrobite.
I almost felt as if I had this force field deep inside me, waiting to erupt. It was becoming so nagging that if I didn’t exert this energy somewhere I was about to seriously go crazy. This is how I describe my burning desire to travel the world and the feeling I felt everyday walking into my waitressing job.